The Nashville Predators (3-0) put their three game win streak on the line tonight when they meet the star-studded Washington Capitals (3-1) at 7 p.m. at the Bridgestone Arena.
The Preds and Caps met 13 days ago in Washington in the final preseason contest for both teams and Nashville came out on top 3-0 behind stellar goaltending of Pekka Rinne. Washington was without Niklas Backstrom but the Preds clearly outplayed the Caps.
Anders Lindback will get his third start in a row against the NHL's most powerful offense. Michal Neuvirth is the probable starter fro the Caps with Semyon Varlamov as the backup.
The Predators have had surprising success on their power play 30.8% clip (4-13) while the normally potent Capitals' man advantage has struggled at a 11.8 % pace.
Steve Sullivan leads the Preds with four goals and an assist while the always exciting Ovechkin has 4 goals and three assists.
On the injury front, in addition to Rinne being questionable, Mary Erat was placed on injured reserve retroactive to last Saturday so he is not eligible to be reactivated. Matt Lombardi will also miss his second game in a row. For Washington, Mike Green did not make the trip and Tom Poti, Matt Bradley and Marcus Johansson missed their last game and are possible scratches again tonight.
This will be Nashville's first test against an Eastern Conference foe before they return to competition from the West on Tuesday against Calgary. A few tickets remain so if you do not have tickets yet this would be a great game to catch and a rare appearance by Ovechkin and company in Music City.
Ryan Porth will have our post game story tonight after the game.
In Pred Nation...
Josh Cooper says the Predators are ready for a test with the best in the NHL.
Ryan Porth has a story about the new, improved Cal O'Reilly.
The Goalie Guild has a detailed breakdown of Anders Linback's first three games as an NHLer.
Mark Willoughby has his weekly "My View" that stars with a civics lesson.
Sam at PredsBlog does a one player recap of the Blues game on Sergei Kostitsyn. His one note about Sergei standing still on the blueline is interesting. I saw the same thing and wondered why he was there and if it was a set play.
Mark Van Guilder talks and Aaron Sims listens in the weekly series at the Ads home page.
Around the NHL...
In spite of the Blues loss to the Preds on Thursday, Ryan Porth thinks the Blues are poised to take the next step.
There are conflicting reports in the desert about the sale of the Coyotes. Here's the latest from the Globe and Mail. The other side comes from The Save the Coyotes Coalition Per Bill Daly on NHL Live today - an announcement is forthcoming either today or sometime this weekend regarding the Coyotes ownership situation. The NHL has reached an agreement on the purchase price with Matt Hulsizer!
How things have changed. Fabian Brunnstrom was supposed to be the next big thing in Dallas at one point and now he has been placed on waivers.
Here is a detailed look at the ten year history of the Columbus Blue Jackets. It almost reads like a Shakespeare tragedy.
Here is an interesting blog from the wife of Brent Sopel. This is a really different perspective that you rarely see.
Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass